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It is about connecting with people, sharing what I have learnt, and discovering more. Moving this to positive action and celebration from a place of shared understanding. It is about having a platform and a safe space to explore the difficult conversations around race and climate. 

Follow Olivia Sweeney

I am a relatively new Bristolian having moved to the city in March 2020, and though it has been a very strange time to move to a new city, I am really starting to feel at home here, and am excited to keep exploring.

My other day job is as Junior Consultant at Resource Futures a sustainable waste consultancy. I have always been interested and passionate about ‘sustainability’ or being ‘green’. Only as I have grown up have I felt comfortable and confident challenging and discussing the role which race plays in all things, but specificly climate change and justice. This has only continued to grow with the ambassadorship. I am passionate about equity in all forms, working with the Royal Academy of Engineering to increase diversity in the Engineering sector.

As an engineer, I am excited to be part of building a better future for everyone, and I know the value in using science and data to drive for change. But I also know the importance of humanity and stories, giving space to all voices.

Beyond that you might find me attempting to grow my own vegetables, being as close to or in bodies of water as much as possible, cycling slowly up a hill, enjoying some music or too many sweet treats, getting annoyed with people for just saying and not doing, or being amazed by all the people in Bristol and beyond doing so much more than me to make changes that are better for people and planet.

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Olivia’s research project: To Breathe

“Everyone should be able to breathe clean air, but this is not the case around the world, the UK and in Bristol. It is Black and Brown communities who are likely to suffer the most from the effects of dirty air. I want to hear from these voices to build community solutions for clean air.”

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Related news and blog posts

The Black & Green Ambassadors programme marked the end of Year One at Bristol’s Festival of the Future City – with outgoing Ambassadors Asia, Roy and Olivia sharing their reflections from an unforgettable year, handing over the baton to the next four Ambassadors and launching the end of year one report and film.

Having the opportunity to reflect on the air quality in my neighbourhood and other parts of Bristol, made me realise how varied air quality is depending on which area of a city you’re in, and how this seems to strongly correlate with social background and race. .

Olivia spoke at this national event, hosted by Global Action Plan and the Environment Agency alongside speakers from Black Environment Network and the Women’s Environment Network.